Happy Monday all! I hope this post finds you in a good mood, and if today was the opposite of cheerful I hope it brightens your day.
Tonight’s post is exclusively focusing on the first episode of the first season of The Man In The High Castle, which is titled “The New World”. This episode basically introduces you to a majority of the characters that you’ll be seeing throughout the rest of the other episodes, and also to the Japanese Pacific States and Greater Nazi Reich.
Now, if you have not seen the episode yet, I am warning you in advance that there are spoilers in this review. If you want to stop reading right here and view it that’s fine, and if you want to continue reading that’s okay as well. However, though, consider yourself warned. So with that being said…
Let’s get started.
“The New World” starts off in New York City, where we see one of the main characters, Joe Blake, sitting in a movie theater on Broadway watching propaganda films, and accepting a piece of paper (with an address on it) from someone whose identity isn’t exactly made clear. I would say, though, that this person is possibly from the resistance.
Joe does go to this address, and it is revealed to be a sort of factory. Now, this is where you get the vibe that he is possibly working for the Resistance, because he talks about wanting to bring back the America his father knew and talked about, before it was split between the Japanese and Nazis after they won the war. At that point the Nazis themselves decide to bust into the factory, COPS-style (if you have watched that show at any point then you’ll know what I mean), and Joe Blake is lucky to get into the cab of a semi and drive away before getting caught. The factory manager unfortunately isn’t so lucky as he gets bitten in the neck by a German Shepherd and hauled away by Nazis.
Then the scene shifts to San Francisco, where we get acquainted with Juliana Crain, as well as her mother, stepfather, half sister, and boyfriend, Frank Frink. Juliana does appear to be content with the way things are in the Japanese Pacific States, as she is big into taking classes at the local Dojo and buying herbs which make her mother wince as she drinks them. That is, until she is hurriedly handed a film (along with a bus ticket to Canon City, Colorado, which is in the Neutral Zone) from her half sister, Trudy, who as it turns out is indeed part of the Resistance–and who ends up getting shot by the Japanese right in front of Juliana. This prompts her to view the film, which shows the United States, not the Nazis or Japanese, winning the war. Once she views it, she basically makes up her mind to go to Canon City in Trudy’s place and not to turn the film in to the police, which Frank advises to no avail.
To fast forward, we see Juliana leaving for Canon City, Joe going in that direction himself, and Frank getting arrested along with Trudy’s Resistance boyfriend Randall because the authorities feel that something is up with Juliana disappearing from San Francisco.
As stated originally in my previous post, this episode alone got me into the series. One thing that got my interest right away were the visuals–New York really did look like it was completely taken over by the Nazis, and San Francisco looked, I had to admit it, amazing with the Japanese signage.
As far as content went I feel it was a fitting way to start off the series and season. For this type of show, honestly, it could only begin a certain way, and it worked. For characters, Joe Blake really stood out, due to him being portrayed primarily as working for the Resistance, but then being very ambiguous as a person. Juliana was far more easier to read, due to her character being good hearted and transparent, and in this episode you could tell there was going to be a lot more of her in the episodes to come.
Overall, I give this episode a 5/5.
Hooe you enjoyed the review, Episode 2 will be coming up this weekend!
First image: http://www.history.com
Second image: http://www.westelm.com (Art print is from Rifle Paper Co)
Third image: http://www.pastelshop.fr (Art print also from Rifle Paper Co! In fact, I bought it last week.)